English Onion Soup

It’s cold, y’all. Really, really cold. And icy. Really, really icy. I grew up in south Georgia where three snowflakes make the local newspaper front page. I was not meant to live on the tundra. My idea of sweater weather is anything below 72 degrees.

Like everyone else around Atlanta, BeeBop and I listened to the warnings late last week about the winter storm that was coming our way for the weekend. We listened and waited. And waited. When the snow finally started falling at our house about 10:30 Sunday night we were already completely worn out from listening to the news about what was coming. So, exhausted already from the coverage, we went to sleep aware that something big was on the way. And it turns out this time they were right! By Monday morning we had snow ankle-deep as far as the eye could see. An absolutely incredibly beautiful sight. Perfect, pure white snow everywhere. By Monday afternoon it was still there. Tuesday morning – still there. Tuesday afternoon…STILL there. And they are telling us that we really won’t see any significant melting or improvement in the roads until at least Friday. Sigh.

Mr. FrostyThank goodness BeeBop, having grown up in the Denver area, knows how to deal with the fluffy white stuff. First thing this morning, he put on his big boots, heavy jacket and gloves and cleared our entire driveway! We can drive from the garage to the street now! Beyond that it’s a no-go, however, since the street’s covered in a sheet of ice.  So, since he couldn’t get in to his office, he spent a little time doing something he did growing up in Denver – he built a snowman right down at the bottom of our driveway. I promptly named him Mr. Frosty and loaned him one of my scarves. I think it really adds to his ensemble, don’t you?

Shoveling snow and building snowmen is cold work. And after that kind of morning you need something warm and satisfying for lunch. What could be better than a lovely warm bowl of onion soup? With buttered toast and melted cheese on top. Yum. You’re probably thinking rich beef broth, golden soft onions, gruyere cheese…not this time! This is an English onion soup with chicken stock for a base, sage for the seasoning and lovely sharp cheddar cheese. I saw Jamie Oliver make this on his show Jamie at Home one day and I knew immediately that it would suit my palate much better than the classic. Not that I don’t love the classic French onion soup, I do! But this version really pleases me.

2 tblsp. butter
2 tblsp. olive oil
2 pounds onions (a good mixture of red, yellow and green preferable)
2 tblsp. chopped fresh sage
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
8 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
8 slices stale French or Italian bread
2 tblsp. butter
8 oz. grated sharp Cheddar (white or yellow)
Few drops Worcestershire sauce
Few drops olive oil

English Onion Soup

Use any combination of onions that you like. Leeks are great in this soup as well. I used what I had on hand – a large red onion, one Spanish onion, a couple of yellow ones and a bunch of green onions. Prepare the onions by peeling and slicing the red and yellow onions into half moons and roughly chopping the green onions. Roughly chop the fresh sage, reserving a few leaves for garnish.

English Onion Soup

Place the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. When melted, add the onions, sage, salt and pepper.

English Onion Soup

Stir well to coat everything with the butter and oil. Reduce the heat to low and place a lid on the pan leaving it slightly ajar. Cook for 50 to 60 minutes without coloring the onions too much.

English Onion Soup

Remove the lid and continue cooking for about 20 minutes more until the onions become soft and slightly golden. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Just before the cooking time is up, place the stock in a pot on the stove and bring it to a simmer.

English Onion Soup

When the onions are soft and slightly browned, add the hot stock, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.

English Onion Soup

While the soup is simmering, prepare the toasts. Slice 8 one-inch thick rounds, place on a baking sheet and spread each generously with butter. Place under the broiler until they are golden brown and crisp.

English Onion Soup

Place 8 oven-safe dishes on a baking sheet and ladle soup into each. Top each dish with a toasted bread round and a generous amount of grated cheddar. Sprinkle the cheese with just a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.

Toss the remaining sage leaves with a few drops of olive oil and place one on top of each dish. Place under the broiler under the cheese is nicely melted and bubbly. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Enjoy!

–Original recipe from “Jamie at Home” by Jamie Oliver ©2008

English Onion Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tblsp. butter
  • 2 tblsp. olive oil
  • 2 pounds onions (a good mixture of red, yellow and green preferable)
  • 2 tblsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 8 slices stale French or Italian bread
  • 2 tblsp. butter
  • 8 oz. grated Cheddar (white or yellow)
  • Few drops Worcestershire sauce
  • Few drops olive oil
Instructions
  1. Prepare the onions by peeling and slicing the red and yellow onions into half moons and
  2. roughly chopping the green onions.
  3. Roughly chop the fresh sage, reserving a few leaves for garnish.
  4. Place the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. When melted, add the onions, sage, salt and pepper. Stir to coat with the butter and oil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and place a lid on the pan leaving is slightly ajar. Cook for 50 to 60
  6. minutes without coloring the onions too much.
  7. Remove the lid and continue cooking for about 20 minutes more until the onions become soft and slightly golden. Be sure to sure occasionally to prevent sticking
  8. Just before the cooking time is up, place the stock in a pot on the stove and bring it to a simmer.
  9. When the onions are soft and slightly browned, add the hot stock, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  10. While the soup is simmering, prepare the toasts.
  11. Slice 8 one-inch thick rounds, place on a baking sheet and spread each generously with butter.
  12. Place under the broiler until they are golden brown and crisp.
  13. Place 6-8 oven-safe dishes on a baking sheet and ladle soup into each.
  14. Top each dish with a toasted bread round and a generous amount of grated cheddar.
  15. Sprinkle the cheese with just a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.
  16. Toss the remaining sage leaves with just a few drops of olive oil and place one on top of
  17. each dish.
  18. Place under the broiler under the cheese is nicely melted and bubbly.
  19. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven.

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Comments

    • says

      Jennifer – This one is so similar, yet so different from the traditional French style. Let me know how you like it if you decide to try it.

  1. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says

    Looks and sounds great, wish I had a bowl right now! Cute snowman, glad you’re having some fun with the snow! We’ll be getting about 8 more inches tonight:@O

    • says

      We’re still trying to get moving after all that snow and ice. Thank goodness I work from home and don’t have to go out if I don’t want to.

  2. says

    Jeez, Lana, I feel guilty that I spent the whole day working in a tank top but completely sympathize. Although I spend four years living in Colorado and did learn to deal with the snow in terms of driving, I never ever figured out how to dress properly for it. That said, you wonderful soup here would totally suit me in any weather, any season, and any time. I’m so looking forward to making this and have onions and sage in the garden now. Can’t wait!

  3. says

    I know what you mean about weather people, by the time a hurricane comes, I am worn slap out – nice soup, I wondered what made it English, then saw it is from Jamie… well, he is a bit much for me, still, the soup does sound wonderful… maybe time to rethink

  4. says

    Well, Bee Bop should feel right at home…we’ve got several inches in Denver now too and like you, none of that warming sun the next day…bitter cold and no melt in site!

    This is interesting; guessing the addition of sage and cheddar in lieu of wine and Gruyere give it the English spin. Sounds so warm and wonderful right now I would eat it for breakfast!

    • says

      I haven’t tried with dried sage so I can’t say. If you’re using the very fine, powdery dried sage, I’d cut way, way back to perhaps between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon. That’s equal to a LOT of fresh sage.

  5. clive says

    Ok, thanks. for some reason I thought
    dried was half that of fresh. I’ll wait until i can buy the sage fresh….too bad as i was looking forward to making this today. thanks again

    • says

      Hi Lee – Yes, we’ve had loads of snow and ice here! It’s something that doesn’t happen in this area very often so we don’t really have the equipment to deal with it. Even the mail man could not get through for two days!

  6. says

    I have been meaning to make this soup as well! I watch Jamie at Home every day when I get home from work and I received the cookbook (Which I am pouring thru everyday!) for Christmas. The Gardening tips at each section are motivating to plant something other than cucumbers and tomatoes in my garden as well!

    This looks wonderful! Will make soon!

    • says

      I enjoy his shows. He’s always so enthusiastic about whatever he’s making that it makes me want to try it, too. I have to say I’ve had mixed results with his recipes – they don’t always turn out great for me, but this one is a keeper :-)

  7. says

    Hello fellow food blogger! Love your blog and this is a great soup recipe!

    Have you ever blog hopped before? We’d love it if you contributed this awesome soup recipe to our blog hop on favorite soups, it’s a great way to get links back to your site. Really easy too and we’re live until midnight tonight.

    You can check out our blog hop here:
    http://blog.recipelion.com/fabulous-food-friday-january-blog-hop/

    Thanks,
    Sarah
    Editor
    RecipeLion.com
    blog.recipelion.com

  8. DianeMargaret Miller says

    We always giggle at that whole ankle deep snow and we can’t go anywhere thing!!!
    If it’s not up to your hip and you can chip the ice off the windows (without breaking them)…..you can still go wherever you want here! LOL

    I gathered all my ingredients yesterday (not that I didn’t have most of them anyway! Who wouldn’t keep leeks around, right?!! I was just out.), to make my soup, and couldn’t find my recipe!!! So, thank you SO much…because I totally blanked on Jamie’s name so I couldn’t even look it up! LOL

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